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Remembering the clearances, 2 June, 2007
GUILT has driven the financial regeneration of the Scottish Highlands, a leading academic is due to claim today.
LIKE the statue he came to laud yesterday, the First Minister was looking both forward and back.
MEMORIALS to Scots who fled the Highlands during the notorious clearances may be erected in all countries where they settled, it emerged yesterday.
IN SCOTLAND they were emigrants, victims of the Highland Clearances who left to find a new life across the Atlantic. In Canada, they were settlers, early residents who established colonies that are part of the country's heritage.
THE Forbidden Isle is looking at its most forbidding. As the Calmac ferry swings into Loch Scresort, rain is coming down in horizontal sheets across the bay, driven by a fierce westerly wind. I'm soaked to the skin before I even splash ashore through the waves breaking over the landing ramp. If ever Rum is going to live up to its reputation as the most rained-upon island in Scotland, then today is the day.
TWO of the top talents in Scottish film spelled out their ambitions for new projects on their home turf yesterday at the gala screening of The Last King of Scotland.
LOWLAND clearances were far worse than in the Highlands yet have been largely forgotten, a leading Scottish historian claims.
IT WAS to be a 120ft high hilltop memorial to commemorate one of the most infamous episodes in Scottish history.
THE land was once part of a vast swathe of Scotland cleared of its people by the Duke of Sutherland, in one of the most controversial episodes in the nation's history.
DURING the period 1785 to 1886, when the Crofters Act was passed, it is estimated that about 500,000 Highlanders left their homes in search of a new life. Some were forcibly evicted in the most brutal circumstances, others left of their own volition. But the debate in post-devolution Scotland now rages on what were the social and economic factors that led to so many Highlanders seeking a life elsewhere.
SCOTS are never short of a comment about the weather. If it's too wet and raw outside, then the weather is dreich – or dismal. If it's too hot, then it's roastin'. Scots even have their own saying for specific conditions: smirr, for a fine rain or drizzle, and haar, a chilly easterly wind often mixed with rolling fog.
ISLANDERS on 19th-century Mull worked tirelessly to claw a living from the soil. Few areas lent themselves to crofting and the returns from the land were meagre. The most fertile area was in the Ross of Mull, owned by the Duke of Argyll, where tenants lived comfortably, undisturbed by the threat of clearances.
THE AUTHOR of a controversial new book that promises to expose the Highland Clearances as a myth last night challenged his critics to a public debate to expose "lazy and emotional versions of Scottish history" that always blamed the landlords.
FOLLOWING the Jacobite’s devastating defeat at Culloden in 1746, the Highland way of life came under increasing scrutiny. The threat was at first political, as the government imposed restrictions on their cultural customs and language. However, the gravest threat was economic, and one that eventually changed the Highland landscape.
THE HIGHLAND Clearances are an infamous chapter in Scottish history, the cruel story of how the Highland people were dispossessed of their homes by their landlords. So emotive is the subject that many writers denounce the clearances as the first act of modern ethnic cleansing. Yet, while economic forces did change the face of the Highlands forever, the clearances were not a single act of genocidal intent.
THE enduring mythology of the Highland Clearances in which reluctant emigrants were thrown aboard cattle boats and sent on horrific transatlantic crossings by evil lairds has been shattered in a new study.
THE subject stirs strong emotions among Highlanders and their descendants and has set historians against each other in fierce argument on its exact impact.